2015 NHL Draft Targets for the Nashville Predators: The Wingers

Leading up to draft day, we're looking at players that could be on the board when the Preds come calling. Today we are examining potential wingers in the second round.

With the 55th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Nashville may want to bolster their strength on the wings. When it comes to the second and third rounds, Nashville should be drafting the best player available, rather than trying to fit a current need. Any of these players may be available, and could be a smart choice by the front office.

Second Round Picks

1) Christian Fischer (RW)

USA NDTP (USHL); heading to the University of Notre Dame

6'1"/212 lbs

Central Scouting Ranking: #37 (North American Skaters)
ISS Ranking: #38

Christian Fischer is an incredibly smart and fast forward who uses his size very effectively. He can play a tight checking game and then beat the opposition with size, grit, possession, creativity, and great goal-scoring ability. He's the kind of physical player with skill you would want with a Kevin Fiala or Viktor Arvidsson.

2) Jordan Greenway (LW)

USA NDTP (USHL); heading to Boston University

6’5"/222 lbs

Central Scouting Ranking: #47 (North American Skaters)

ISS Ranking: #31

It’s hard to find a player who is big, tall, a good skater, and has good offensive skill set. Those attributes together make players such as Jordan Greenway really valuable come draft day. Greenway's ability to skate and successfully battle in the tough areas would lend well to Peter Laviolette’s system which is based on maintaining possession.

3) Robin Kovacs (RW/LW)

AIK (Allsvenskan)

6’0"/172 lbs

Central Scouting Rankig: #8 (European Skaters)

ISS Ranking: #53

There are very few players that better fit Laviolette’s up-tempo system in the second round than Robin Kovacs. He forechecks hard, has a great accurate shot, and has great foot-speed. When the Predators lost Patric Hornqvist, they lost a guy that battles for space in front of the net and goes after the hard goals. TSN’s Bob Mackenzie believes he can be that kind of player in the future.

4) Nikita Korostelev (RW/LW)

Sarnia Sting (OHL)

6’1"/193 lbs

Central Scouting Ranking: #50 (North American Skaters)

ISS Ranking: #60

For a team that loves to shoot, having snipers up the wings is almost mandatory. Korostelev is physical, strong on the puck, and smart. Some much needed improvement on his skating would do wonders for his game.

5) Roope Hintz (F)

Ilves (Liiga)

6’3"/185 lbs

Central Scouting Ranking: #14 (European Skaters)

ISS Ranking: #52

Roope Hintz is a two-way player that has a solid all-around game, a high compete level, and is just as good a playmaker as a scorer. He can play center and wing, versatility that is very useful on any team.

6) Sebastian Aho (LW)

Karpat (Liiga)

5’11"/176 lbs

Central Scouting Ranking: #18 (European Skaters)

ISS Ranking: #61

One of two Sebastian Ahos in this draft, Aho loves to play in an up-tempo style due to his quickness and high compete level. That affinity lends very well to the uptempo system Head Coach Peter Laviolette deploys. He also has a great hockey IQ and very good hands.

Later Round Options

1) Erik Foley (LW)

Cedar Rapids Rough Riders (USHL); heading to Providence College

5’11"/185 lbs

Central Scouting Ranking: #51 (North American Skaters)

ISS Ranking: #86

Erik Foley is a player that goes into the dirty areas and wins battles, but he also has an excellent shot. He produced very well in the USHL last season and could very well be available when the Predators pick in the third round.

2) Aleksi Saarela (LW/C)

Assat (Liiga)

5’10"/194 lbs

Central Scouting Ranking: #31 (European Skaters)

At one point Aleksi Saarela would have been very much in the conversation as a first round pick. Inconsistencies and attitude problems have lead to a drop in that rank but that does not take away from his skill. He’s got a good scoring touch and also good vision with the puck which he backs up with great hands and playmaking ability.

3) Fredrik Forsberg (RW/LW)

Leksand J20 (J20 SuperElit)

6’0"/174 lbs

Central Scouting Ranking: #66 (European Skaters)

ISS Ranking: #135

The younger brother of Filip, Fredrik Forsberg possesses a fairly similar skill set to his older brother; he has a good shot and he’s strong on the puck. On the downside he is somewhat one-dimensional and he has to work on his skating. He should go in the late middle-rounds of the draft.